'We need change:' Coach K, Wendell Carter Jr. react to latest news of FBI probe

<p>Mike Krzyzewski expressed gratitude to Duke's compliance office and the NCAA for getting Wendell Carter Jr. cleared to play quickly.</p>

Mike Krzyzewski expressed gratitude to Duke's compliance office and the NCAA for getting Wendell Carter Jr. cleared to play quickly.

It started Friday morning while Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was out walking his dog, Blue.

The phone rang, and on the other end was Kylia Carter.

"She says, ‘Did you see the Yahoo report?’" Krzyzewski said following Saturday's win against Syracuse. "I said, ‘Kylia, I’m taking Blue out right now, I haven’t seen the Yahoo report.’ She was all, she was nervous about it, and I said tell me about it."

All of this came after yet another shocking story was published by Yahoo! Sports' Pete Thamel and Pat Forde in the wee hours, naming Kylia's son, Wendell Carter Jr., as one of at least 25 players who—either personally or through family—were allegedly tied to Christian Dawkins, the business associate of disgraced agent Andy Miller.

Per documents uncovered by Thamel and Forde, Dawkins listed a $106.36 lunch with Carter's mother, marking the first time since the FBI probe was unveiled last October that Duke had been mentioned in any form.

The Blue Devil freshman was certainly blindsided by the news.

"Just someone trying to hold me back," Carter said. "I knew it was just someone trying to look for something, just look for something. It wasn’t really a distraction because I knew I didn’t do anything. I knew my family didn’t do anything, so I was fine."

According to Krzyzewski, Kylia Carter claimed that her husband left the lunch meeting with Dawkins after just a few minutes but she chose to stay. Afterwards, the Carters had no further communication with Dawkins. Krzyzewski expressed disappointment that meals like this were lumped into the same story that included details of tens of thousands of dollars changing hands in some cases, and he questioned the reliability of the figures on the expense report that exposed the meal.

Friday's tumult didn't end with the initial Yahoo! report. Just after 10 p.m., Forde and Thamel dropped another story with email correspondence from Dawkins. 

Minutes later, ESPN's Mark Schlabach wrote that Arizona head coach Sean Miller was allegedly caught on an FBI wiretap talking with Dawkins about a payment of $100,000 in order to secure the commitment of DeAndre Ayton, another top recruit in the Class of 2017.

For Krzyzewski, all of the unraveling may not necessarily have been a surprise, but it was clear that the 71-year-old was disheartened, if nothing else.

"It’s a horrible time for the game, but the game has begged, it’s been on its knees begging for change for years, and sometimes unless something horrible happens, you just don’t change," Krzyzewski said. "We need change. We need to take a look at amateurism and define it probably differently. We have to look at it through the prism of a 16-year-old kid and a family, and what they should be allowed and make sure it’s the same things that are allowed to other NCAA athletes or maybe do something that would be ahead of the game and become more modern in what we’re doing."

Earlier Saturday, NCAA president Mark Emmert appeared on the CBS college basketball studio show and discussed the notion of athletes being able to work with agents prior to turning pro in the future. 

Although it isn't something Krzyzewski has had to deal with during his 43-year coaching career, the Blue Devils' head man certainly seemed open to the idea.

"I don’t know how much longer I’m going to coach, but it might be for these guys when they go into a home, there’s an agent there, which may not be bad because at least they would be getting expert advice that they chose," Krzyzewski said. "They wouldn’t have to go around and say, 'I know this guy, I know this.' And maybe there’s a way of checking their credentials so the NCAA could provide guidance to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, and agents would have to register, and you would have their profiles so you could—things like that. 

"Let’s just get ahead of the game. Most of this stuff is because of what happens before they get here. That’s the area that we should do, and then once they get here, we will then change that environment based on what we’ve changed here. That’s what I hope will happen."

It certainly does not appear that the FBI's probe into college basketball is near an end. There will be more players, coaches and programs implicated—and the possibility that Duke is further involved remains to be seen.

But if there's any coach in the game that appears committed to creating a healthier and improved atmosphere, the Blue Devils have the right man at their helm.

"Whether there’s more, it’s over or whatever, there’s enough out there for us to change," Krzyzewski said. "And I hope there’s not any more."

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


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